The art chosen today is for rejoicing. This reminds me of my daughter Isabelle and the miscarriage we suffered and remember even today that brief life. Knowing the hills and highways of Heaven.
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed [shall have been bound...shall have been loosed] in heaven.
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Recently I was involved in a brew ha ha created by, thirteen years, frankly, of ego and narcissism. A neighborhood thing. The skirmish started with a request for servitude. Actually, that was couched with 'a do me a favor.' We should do favors. We should want to help people. But the antenna went up when the request came with an uncalled for insult. And the favor was long-term. When I politely declined to do the favor, I was called on the phone several times and later given a formal attitude with disapproval. I was cheerful, but steadfast.
Boundaries were crossed, people discussed the best way to handle that. Unasked for physical contact resulted from boundaries crossed, uninvited I might add. And still privacy was the rule for the day. This led to more insults disregarding a death in the family. Still Privacy was followed. Another woman was held up to unasked for physical conduct. Still privacy was followed.
My husband was subjected to a narcissistic campaign when I was away from home. Culmination, finally, local authorities had a falsified report handed to them by the ego. And still Edward and I wondered what was too personal to disclose and what was private. Finally, the falsification of the written report flew all over me and thirty minutes later, the truth had been disclosed to the local governing body. Did that feel good? Absolutely not. Revenge is what part of me cried out.
I sat and thought of the twelve different ways I had said this was private, not for gossip fodder. And the phrase 'Fight the good fight' came to me. Isn't the good fight about being truthful? The Lord says give Justice with Mercy. He never said seek to suffer for the sake of suffering. We just think namby pamby nicey is called for. Forgive others the way you want to be forgiven. The Lord never said to the woman caught in adultery, keep your mouth shut even if its not true.
Revenge. Aren't most Christians more than aware Revenge is wrong. However, this revenge-think wasn't clear thinking. The falsified report was wrong. The truth was being sought. The fight was brought on a platter and carried literally to my door. It was time to declare the thirty minute story of injustices spoken, false accusations presented. And to find out the governing authority had remembered the raving egotist. In a career where people make reports every day, this individual was remembered as being out of the norm.
It's so important to remember .... God does not want His Children to suffer and hum "Onward Christian Soldiers." He asks us to bind revenge, not to bind truth. He asks us not to suffer, when honesty is asked for.
Christians remember this Biblical passage. Rejoice in suffering when we overcome the suffering. Bind revenge, but bind unnecessary hurtful behavior. Loosen truthful speaking to the right people. Loosen speaking for the right reason. Loosen letting events roll past and not reclaiming them.
Father God, we pray for the narcissism experienced over the years, the false accusations of hurt property and missing property. Untruths spoken. Boundaries crossed. We pray for the giver of these deeds, that having light shown on the behavior, not that shame will endure, but healing and recovery. Father God, the point of our time here is to grow up, lean into You, and learn with faith - We are called Home to you. Let us speak Truth without fearing we cross lines. Realizing Justice isn't just for the other guy. Thank You, Father God, for wanting all Your children to live in peace and fight the good fight when presented the time to speak. Not accepting suffering to be a duty required from You. And thank You for the opportunity to present truth.
Thank You, Lord Father God, for the blessing of having people around us give us support. Our Pastor who offered to call the egotist. The Church Family who were scandalized with this behavior. The concern for safety and the literal clean up required. The prayers offered and answers received. God bringing light from darkness. In the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.